We are beyond party politics - Air Force

2013-08-28 20:12
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - The SA Air Force (SAAF) performs its duties solely in the interests of the nation, the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the arms deal heard on Wednesday.

Deputy Chief of the SAAF, Major General Gerald Malinga, was being led in submitting evidence before the inquiry by evidence leader Matshego Ramagaga.

Malinga said the armed forces were not swayed by party politics.

"We serve only for national interests, not for partisan politics or other interests. Contained in the code of conduct for members of the SA National Defence Force [SANDF] is a line that says: 'I will not harm or advance the interests of any political party.'"

Ramagaga asked whether that independence extended to the military’s force designs.

"When you say the defence force serves solely in the national interests, would that also apply in execution of the mandate relating to the development of force designs?" Ramagaga asked.

Malinga responded: "It is my understanding and my belief that every bit of business that we do on a daily basis has nothing to do with any other thing than the mandate of the SANDF in defence of national interests."

Ramagaga told the commission Malinga had stated in his affidavit that he was not directly involved in the controversial arms deal procurement.

On Wednesday, the commission spent considerable time on Malinga's CV, touching on his medals and decorations.

The SAAF and Armscor are scheduled to address the commission about the use of the military equipment.

The trade and industry department is set to give evidence on the "realisation of job opportunities and the offsets anticipated to flow" from the arms deal.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the commission, led by Judge Willie Seriti, in 2011 to investigate alleged corruption in the 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal.

- SAPA
Read more on:    saaf  |  armscor  |  sandf  |  jacob zuma  |  willie seriti  |  arms deal
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